Friday, 7 October 2011

Double dip recession a sales opportunity ?

“…After all, you only find out who is swimming naked when the tide goes out. At Berkshire, we retain our risks and depend on no one. And whatever the world's problems, our checks will clear….!”

Annual report February 28, 2002 Warren E. Buffett Chairman of the board Berkshire Hathaway.

The double dip recession, certain economists tell us we will go through is a bit like a double tide. Those caught skinny dipping the first time have been beached like whales by the first flood ,those still in the water in our selling Speedos must must keep calm and  swim in the ebb tide for the deep waters of future growth.
Something to keep us all positive

Created using

Although the state of tides are easy to read with the help of tide tables -reading or watching the economic news is not so easy. One gets confused if not disorientated  of what is going on in the real economy. Mervyn King, Chairman off the Bank of England issued a warning to us all. it could all best possibly tougher than the 1930s.

Well Selling helped then and our profession can do it again. Of course you may prefer to use the g'rowth' word but what is growth but another word for sales?!

 ( Low tide on London's River Thames with the financial district -The City- and St Paul's Cathedral in the background. Photo taken at this year's Thames festival. The sand artist sculpted a guitar. No unclad swimmers as per Mr Buffet's quote!)

One wonders at times whether the gloomy news has any immediate relevance to those of us responsible for day to day selling.

The financial markets tend to work to a difference time pattern to the ‘real world’.

  Different industrial sectors have experienced varying degrees of recession and some have even grown.

Of course late into any recession is the Public sector who are particularly feeling it now.

So let's look for some good news to keep up our morale

For example here is some good news.

The English Wines Group  saw sales rise by 41% in the first six months of this year to £1.6 million.

  Venture capitalist 3i’s chief executive reckons “ the stock market has significantly over corrected. If you look at the FTSE there are some outstanding companies at prices I haven’t seen for 20 years. There is value out there .”

The Irish economy grew by 1.6% in the second quarter, official figures show. It was the second successive quarter of GDP growth, after a revised 1.9% rise in the first three months of the year. The figures surprised forecasters, who had expected an increase of just 0.25%. It is the first time since 2006 that the Irish economy has expanded for two quarters in a row.

Car manufacturing rose 10.7%in the UK in August compared with the same month last year, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The industry body said that meant that production for the year so far was 4.4% higher than in 2010.

Engine production was the best-performing sector, up by 14.4% in August and 4.8% higher over the first eight months of the year. The SMMT said that the recovery was expected to continue into next year. This much to do with the efforts of the salespeople responsible for export sales.

The ratings systems for the world’s national economies with their strange ratings akin to battery sizes AAA and AA etc. may seem to have little immediate impact on day to day of many in sales. Nonetheless there is the serious scare about lack of world growth .

• China’s persisting currency exploitation and failure to put its domestic economy on a sustainable lower growth path.

• The rise of Tea-party and its lack of cooperation with President Obama  in current US politics

• The Eurozone sovereign debt crisis.

(Sofa sculptured out of sand at low tide on the shore of the River Thames at this year's Thames festival)

The letters section of London’s evening standard 23rd September raised readers’ hopes for economic growth. Professor John Muellbauer , Nuffield College, Oxford suggests that there is one benefit of the growth scare namely that at last oil and other commodity prices are really reacting. He proposes that a substantial fall in commodity prices will be like a large tax cut without increasing government debt. This along with sustained liquidity provision central banks, should help stabalise western economies .

As far as UK growth is concerned, it is a pity the Government’s relaxation of planning rules comes a year too late and that budgets have not supported infrastructure investment more.

However the scales of the UK’s debt vulnerability for household, the Government and the banks always meant the overall fiscal expansion was not the way out.

(Display at this year's Thames festival -St Paul's cathedral in background)

Ian Mulheirn, social Market foundation  - UK think tank,( who 'marry(ing) markets with social justice -according to their website banner)   in his letter also offered growth as a third option to austerity and default namely state-led investment in chargeable infrastructure such as toll roads, telecommunications and energy which he wrote would cut costs for households and businesses and encourage private investment without placing further burdens on the tax payer.

Tony Drury of Axiom Capital ( specialists in providing financial, strategic and commercial advice) reflected that many small businesses suffer from a lack of competent economic advice. Once they grow beyond a certain point they can struggle to analyse their financial options. Mr Dury suggests the Government should prioritise the structuring of a competent advisory service by subsidising existing professional advisers.

Related links
Economics and selling - The Keynes versus Hayek debate

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